Premier League Preview: Gameweek 218 min read
The final Premier League fixtures of 2017 this weekend and Manchester City will equal Bayern Munich’s record set in 2013/14 of 19 successive league wins if they are successful at Selhurst Park on New Year’s Eve. It is time for the last predictions of the year!
Bournemouth v Everton
Everton are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games and have kept four clean sheets in six since former England boss Sam Allardyce took over as manager at Goodison Park. The quality of football might not be the most pleasing on the eye, but this is a more resilient and durable Everton side than the one he inherited.
Bournemouth are without a win in their last eight PL games although they did end a barren spell in front of goal in their 3-3 draw with West Ham on Boxing Day.
The five previous PL meetings between the sides has produced 22 goals but I can’t see another 3-3 draw on Saturday although I do expect to see another drawn game.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at
Chelsea v Stoke City
Chelsea were good value for their 2-0 win over Brighton at the Bridge on Boxing Day and I expect to see another easy win for the champions when Stoke are the visitors on Saturday.
No team in Europe’s big five leagues has seen more goals scored by Spanish players (20) than the Blues and Cesar Azpilicueta has assisted Alvaro Morata his Spanish international teammate on six occasions so far this term. The champions are likely to have too much class for the Potters.
Tip: Chelsea to win to nil at
Huddersfield v Burnley
Great to see Tom Ince finally get a PL goal for Huddersfield on Boxing Day with his 45th attempt at goal so far this season.
Burnley took a point at Old Trafford for the second season in a row earlier in the week and I can see them having to settle for another draw against a Terriers side who are a real handful at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Tip: Game to finish 1-1 at
Liverpool v Leicester City
There have been 14 goals scored in the last three PL games played between the clubs and Jurgen Klopp will want his defence to pay particular attention to Jamie Vardy who has scored six of the eight goals the Foxes have scored against the Reds in their last four PL meetings.
The Reds announced on Wednesday they will sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk for £75m once the transfer window opens next month and they will be delighted to have finally got their man. I think he will be a great success at Anfield and wish him all the very best.
Only PSG (89) and Manchester City (78) have scored more goals than Liverpool (75) so far this season in all competitions and I think there will be goals at Anfield with the hosts getting more than their fair share.
Tip: Liverpool to win and both teams to score at
Newcastle v Brighton
Newcastle have lost five successive home league games whilst Brighton have lost their last four away games without scoring a goal – something has to give at St James’s Park.
Seagulls boss Chris Hughton has won just one of his seven games against his former club and I expect the hosts to edge what is likely to be a tight, tense affair.
Tip: Newcastle to win at
Watford v Swansea City
Swansea were poor at Anfield on Boxing Night and they need a new manager and new blood on the field if they are to stand any chance of maintaining their PL status.
The Hornets got back to winning ways against Leicester last time and I think they will follow up against the south Wales outfit.
Tip: Watford to win at
Manchester United v Southampton
Burnley nearly pulled off a shock on Boxing Day but the bottom line is neighbours City are the only opposition in the PL to have won at Old Trafford since Jose Mourinho took over. I expect United to get back to winning ways when Southampton are the visitors this weekend.
Southampton have won just one of their last 11 in the PL, conceded five at Wembley earlier in the week and it is hard to believe they can get something against a United side who are looking to do the double over the Saints following their 1-0 win at St Mary’s back in September.
Tip: United to win to nil at
Crystal Palace v Manchester City
City have beaten Palace 5-0 on the last two occasions the sides have met and the runaway league leaders will equal Bayern’s record of 19 successive league wins with victory at Selhurst Park.
I think Palace will try to attack City more than Newcastle did midweek but it is hard if you don’t have the football. Nicolas Otamendi completed 122 passes for City against Newcastle midweek seven more than the combined total of all the Newcastle outfield players!
City are just irresistible at present and it is futile to oppose them.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score at
…they's still be on top of the table! pic.twitter.com/LXXIquElHX
— BetVictor (@BetVictor) December 28, 2017
West Brom v Arsenal
West Brom are without a win in their last 18 league games but they have won their last two home games against Arsenal and I think they will get something from the game.
This game will be Arsene Wenger’s 811th PL game in charge of the Gunners and a new record for the competition. Interestingly Wenger will beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 810 – the last of which was also at the Hawthorns when his United side were held to a 5-5 draw.
I don’t expect to see another ten-goal thriller on New Year’s Eve but I do think the Baggies will get at least a point.
Tip: West Brom double chance (draw or win) at
Michael’s final weekend wager of 2017: Liverpool, Watford and Newcastle to all win at